There are lots of cheap cars on sale today, but do bargain prices represent value for money?
The phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ is normally used to imply that apparent bargains aren’t necessarily all they’re cracked up to be. Most of us have been stung by something that looked like a great deal, but turned out to be nothing of the sort. And when it comes to cheap cars the same pitfalls can apply, so is there anything to be learned to avoid making a disastrous purchase? Or do the cheapest cars on the market really offer good value for money?
At the very least, the cheapest brand new cars are a far cry from the rusty part-exchange wheels gathering dust at the far end of your local dealership. Budget vehicles straight from the factory should afford you showroom-fresh metal from respectable dealers, with the added bonus of a proper warranty.
• Most economical cars
That said, with the cheapest new cars beginning at around the £7,000 mark, they still come with a different set of expectations. They’ll get you from A to B for sure, but will they be as economical, or as practical, or as well-built as something that costs a few grand more? There’s no guarantee.
Manufacturers will often position an entry-level new car as a lure to tempt customers through the showroom doors and into the clutches of the sales team. Once they’ve been treated to a complimentary coffee and an armful of glossy brochures, punters aiming to buy cheap can then be expertly edged up the model hierarchy to something more expensive.
• Cheapest cars to run
To achieve those low sticker prices, cheap new cars are often stripped of everything bar the basics and they’ll sometimes feel a little low-rent next to more expensive versions of the same car just a few steps up the trim ladder. Many buyers will happily put-up with some blanked-out buttons, downmarket trim finishes or even an asthmatic engine but others will see the extra outlay needed to secure a few more creature comforts as money well spent. Either way, the cheap car’s head-turning sticker price has done its job.
In many instances, the biggest challenge facing cars at the cheap end of the market is the existence of used alternatives offering more kit, a better engine and, often, a more desirable badge for the same money. Again, many people will rather sink their cash into an apparently better car with a few thousand miles on the clock but the appeal of a brand new model with a full warranty and finance facilities not always open to used car buyers is still strong.
So, we’ve gauged the enduring appeal of the cheap car, now let’s get down to business. What are the cheapest new cars currently on sale in the UK?
Click the links below or at the top left of this page to discover more about our top 5 cheap cars…
• Cheapest cars to insure
Top 5 cheap cars 2019
When you venture outside the top 5 cheapest cars on sale, you start to encounter more mainstream brands and a higher calibre of small car generally. The models below all come in under the £10,000 barrier in their cheapest entry-level form. Click the links to read our full in-depth review of each model…
- • SEAT Mii
- • Peugeot 108
- • Kia Picanto
- • Citroen C1
- • MG3
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